Selective Righteousness

You see this happens all too often, when self-righteous people get accused of something. They start waxing philosophical, quoting Scripture, and deflecting.

Continuing the chapter by chapter look at 2nd Samuel.

2 Samuel 3: 8-10 Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said, “Am I a dog’s head of Judah? To this day I keep showing steadfast love to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not given you into the hand of David. And yet you charge me today with a fault concerning a woman. 9 God do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David what the LORD has sworn to him, 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba.”

As Saul’s General, Abner was on the Elite Squad that hunted David and his men down for years. Abner who is growing in influence and power, as most military commanders do when there is not strong leadership, is being accused of sleeping with one of King Saul’s concubines; an offense punishable by death.

But instead of being humble and contrite, Abner goes on this tirade; he is indignant and his statements to Ish-bosheth reek of pride and contempt. He is literally saying, “Am I a filthy, vile creature that doesn’t care where he lays?” You see in those days, dogs to eastern cultures are NOT the man’s best friend of present day western civilization. They were pack animals that rummaged through garbage, ate dead things, and most likely ran amok on the roads, alleys, and trails where people had to walk. Most of us know how disgusting dogs running free about a neighborhood can be, so there is nothing cute and cuddly about wild dogs in that culture, in those days.

He then states he has really been a loyal protector of Saul’s family and friends. He never denies nor confirms the charge against him. He more so diminishes it as a trifling thing that should have been overlooked. And perhaps it would have been to Ish-bosheth’s best interest to do so. But that’s NOT what I want to talk about.

You see this happens all too often, when self-righteous people get accused of something. They start waxing philosophical, quoting Scripture, and deflecting.

That is what stood out to me.

Look at verse 9. God do so to Abner and more also, if I do not accomplish for David what the LORD has sworn to him,

All of a sudden, Abner confesses that he knew all along that the kingdom he is so diligently backing was rightfully, and more importantly, DIVINELY sworn to and promised to David. How convenient! It wasn’t until he is in hot-water with Saul’s family for being a nasty dog, that Abner NOW decides to do the LORD’S work and help David get what’s rightfully his.

Would this be his stance if Ish-bosheth had never confronted him with the issue with Rizpah?

Nevertheless, he is now set on doing the right thing and that is exactly what he does. He turns his back on the family which he so passionately defended and served, and proceeded to carry out his kingdom transfer plot with King David of Judah.

There is more to this story than the 3 verses I chose to reflect on: at first it seems that things go exactly as Abner has planned, but then we see that he didn’t account for the “Blood Feud” that Joab, David’s General, had with him, so the story takes a violent turn rather quickly.

Call it karma, comeuppance, or the law of sowing and reaping, but evil or deceitful people will eventually get what’s coming to them. We just need to wait patiently, and let God have His say.

Father God, Forgive me for the times when I have picked and chosen when to act righteously. Help me to be a man of integrity and of good character always, regardless of the situation or how things may, or may not benefit me. Holy Spirit, keep checking my spirit when I may be going in a way contrary to the plan of God for my life, and soften me to accept when others call me out for doing wrong, and give me the courage and humility to change my behavior.

Love

-John